The Beauty of Grief — Emotion Series #9

Anthropologist and coach Alexa Anderson joins the podcast again for a deep dive with Joe into the emotional and practical value of grieving fully.

They examine several forms in which grief can arise, the relationship between grief and identity, various mysteries of the way grief moves, and how unfelt grief underlies interpersonal and societal conflict.

Alexa and Joe discuss the tools they’ve used to help them move their grief in the wake of painful losses and to pre-grieve losses that haven’t yet occurred. They share examples of deep transformation that followed the processing of grief all the way through.

Tune in to deepen your relationship with grief as an intimate experience of love and care, and a doorway to the freedom available on the other side.

“Without the grief, we recreate the cycle.
Without the grief, we relive the trauma.
Without the grief, we don’t find the freedom on the other side of the limited identity.”


The Anatomy of Shame - Emotion Series #8

Shame is nature’s way of training us to fit into our culture and society. Like an electric fence, it outlines the contours of the identity we’ve grown into and discourages us from straying outside the lines.

This boundary around our comfort zone is often a poor match for ourselves and the world we live in. When we feel shame, our emotional experience stagnates, dampening our evolution and our enjoyment. People often find themselves stuck in the same shame cycles for years.

In this episode, Joe and Brett examine the structure of shame and how to melt it on an intellectual, emotional, and somatic level.

Transformed through awareness and love, our shame becomes a natural set of guide rails that help us live our life in alignment with our deepest values.

"All we're doing here is freeing the blocking of emotions by feeling into our body and creating love where there was abandonment."

The following is the “wall of shame” referenced at the end of the episode, compiled from Brett’s journal and submissions from our listeners:

  • Shame of being amateur/inexperienced
  • ...of missing opportunities
  • ...of being incompetent
  • ...of backing down or giving up
  • ...of not creating value
  • ...of being wrong, and then being hard-headed about it
  • ...of being an outsider who doesn't speak the lingo
  • ...of asking for help
  • ...of being 'transactional'
  • ...of not being present enough
  • ...of hovering anxiously
  • ...of having shame and hiding it
  • ...of being a 'hypocrite'
  • ...of being a know-it-all
  • ...of being helpless or clueless
  • ...of not 'deserving it'
  • ...of failing as a result of either over- or under-control
  • ...of upsetting people or scaring them with the truth
  • ...of showing hurt or disappointment
  • ...of not following my intuition
  • ...of not being clever, determined, or forthright
  • ...of not being ambitious, or of being too ambitious
  •  ...of disagreeing
  • ...of telling people they are wrong
  • ...of being withdrawn
  • ...of needing people to change their behavior
  • ...of needing time
  • ...of thinking slowly
  • ...of not knowing how
  • ...of not feeling good when others are socializing
  • …of not being enough (strong, present, resourceful, smart)
  • …of freezing when action is required
  • …of hurting the people I love

Send yours with the feedback form on our website to add to this list. Submissions will, of course, be anonymized.

The Power Dynamics of Fear - Emotion Series #7

In today’s episode, we explore how fear underlies the power dynamics that develop in our relationships with others and within ourselves. When fear is present, we naturally desire to control outcomes by taking on a bully, victim or savior role that externalizes our fear and separates us from our truth. Tune in to join us as we discuss the difference between power and empowerment. We will explore how welcoming the emotions and resistance around undesired outcomes can allow us to exit the power dynamics and show up authentically, leading to deeper connection and more harmonious relationships.

“We all get scared sometimes and so we all also get into power dynamics sometimes. It’s just the way it is. It doesn’t matter how old you are and it doesn’t matter how much you’ve meditated. If there wasn’t some of this tension, we wouldn’t be alive.”


What we discuss in Episode 42:

03:31  How fear creates power dynamics.

06:15  Fight, flight or freeze — the three ways that fear presents itself and the three roles of the Fear Triangle dynamic.

13:03  The different voices in our head and how they influence our behavior towards ourselves and others.

17:15  The difference between power and empower and the ways that it affects how we show up in relationships.

22:22  Choosing your authenticity as a way of dissolving the fear dynamic.

25:10  Brett’s relationship to fear/power and authenticity as it relates to his history in air sports.

28:00  The shame behind the roles in the fear triangle and how it can hold the cycle in place.

**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.

Anxiety: A Signpost to Unmet Needs - Emotion Series #6

Anxiety is a visceral experience of physical and emotional constriction that is hard to ignore. And yet, many of us engage in a maze of avoidant behaviors in an attempt to do just that. What happens when we see our anxiety as a signal pointing to unmet needs and the unfelt emotions around them? How can sitting with and feeling the sensations of anxiety result in profound internal and interpersonal shifts? Let anxiety be your guide as you tune into this episode.

“To love it, to invite it. I can’t wait to be anxious again. When you’re at that place, that’s the real freedom, where you’re not trying to manage yourself. That’s where the real freedom is.”


What we discuss in Episode 40:

3:15  Defining anxiety from the perspective of the “three brains” — the head, the heart and the gut.

9:15  Why we sometimes constrict ourselves from feeling the unfelt emotions that result in anxiety.

14:27  Anxiety as means of defending our sense of self and a signal pointing to an unmet need.

18:24. The internal and interpersonal shifts that happen when we sit with and feel the physical sensations of anxiety.

23:00  The consequence we are actually avoiding when we operate from anxiety.

25:16  The idea that emotions that we label as “positive” are often the ones we find most intimidating.

31:22  How emotional responses that society deems “unacceptable” can generate shame and anxiety, and can impel us to take action.


**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.

Fear: A Path to Authenticity - Emotion Series #5

Most of the things that we do not understand, we fear. But what if the very path we fear also leads us to our most authentic selves? Approaching our fear allows us to go places and understand things that we wouldn't be able to otherwise. Join us in a conversation where we unpack what it means to use fear as a tool and an ally.

**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.

The Wisdom of Anger: Part II - Emotion Series #4

In last week’s episode on anger, we discussed some of the theoretical ways that this emotion impacts our relationships, families and society. In this second episode, we will follow up on what we learned last week by taking a deeper look into how repressed anger might show up and flow through us as individuals.

"If you are following the mind, it’s very hard to allow anger to move cleanly. Whether your story is they are absolutely wrong and they deserve this, or your story is no, they deserve compassion. Any kind of thick story around it is going to really make the anger have a hard time coming out in a clean way."

**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.

The Wisdom of Anger: Part I - Emotion Series #3

 "I think it’s most dangerous if someone is like I should be good with other people’s anger. No, you shouldn’t. You either are or you are not. If you aren’t, take care of yourself. If you are, great, lean in. Just worry about loving your own anger, and all the rest of it will take care of itself."

It may be that the most misunderstood and hated emotion in our society is anger. At some point in probably everyone’s life, words spoken in anger have cut us deep to the bone. Actions taken from a place of rage have broken relationships and door hinges and turned families and societies against themselves, but where would we be without our anger? How can anger point to what we and others love and care deeply about? What does anger look like when we allow ourselves to feel it fully and cleanly?

**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.

Embracing Intensity - Emotion Series #2

There are emotions inside all of us that can sometimes be difficult to fully feel — anger, sadness, fear and even joy often have an intensity that causes us to brace ourselves against them. What if instead of running away from a feeling, we leaned into it? How would it change our experience to turn towards the thing giving us discomfort, asking us to expand in some way? In today’s episode, we will explore how to embrace intensity in order to allow transformative change to flow into our lives.

"The person’s willingness to embrace intensity will mark the amount of change they will feel in their life in the short term. It’s a great leading indicator."

**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.

Stages of Emotional Development - Emotion Series #1

Today's episode is the first of a new series on emotions. To kick things off, we’re going to explore the process of emotional development that we all go through as we start to work through each of the emotions that we’re going to discuss the next upcoming episodes. 

"Managing our emotions is maybe a short-term solution sometimes, but it is really not a good long term one. That feeling of our emotions really actually brings us the freedom and the joy we want."

**Full transcript can be found here:

Follow us on Instagram at @artofaccomplishment to learn more about our guests and share your own experiences.